Toe curlers – by a newbie Hawaiian

Something we heard a lot from people when we announced that we were moving to Hawaii was, “Hahaha! You are gonna die of island fever before you last 8 months!”. We shook our heads and smiled. We didn’t think being far away from any sort of mainland would affect us. How bad could it be living within walking distance of the beach with beautiful summer weather all year round?

Well we haven’t experienced island fever yet (ask me what I think in 6 months though) but rather I’ll admit to having been hit by culture shock. Coming from Scandinavia there are just certain things you’re not used to having to worry about. Here are my main toe curlers as a newbie Hawaiian.

1. Cockroaches. ‘Nough said.

Cockroaches. I never thought I would encounter another creature I would find anywhere near as gross as I find spiders, but roaches are definitely up there. We had heard of the rumored flying cockroaches here but we were not too worried. We’d just be clean like we usually were, so that wouldn’t be a problem. How naive. Within a week we met our first, emerged from behind the microwave. You would have laughed if you could have seen these two pale Scandinavians who had never before seen a cockroach. We danced around trying to think fast. First we thought we had it trapped in the garbage disposal but it escaped. It flew right out of the sink and onto the floor. It was finally bested when Marcus grabbed a flip-flop and smacked it flat. My hero!

After that we swore to shape up. If we thought we had been clean before we were wrong. We never left dishes in the sink, took out the trash once every other day and bought insect spray. Soon after I killed my first roach that snuck in the door when I was waving Marcus off to school. Thank you Raid!

Raid saved the day!

Raid saved the day!

I should say that we quickly learned from friends that we are quite fortunate to have only seen two cockroaches. So we have gladly let the random gecko in the corner stay and make itself at home. We named our gecko Luigi. Once in a while we’d see him scuttle across the floor. Lately though I think I’ve seen other geckos in here. Did Luigi bring the fam? … Should we be worried?

Introducing Luigi!   –>   IMG_0067

2. Sand. Everywhere.

The beach is not something to be complained about – ever. But the first day we came back from the beach and we opened the front door, I was granted a minor peek into the future. Before long we were no doubt gonna have sand all over the apartment. We had to figure out ways to bring as little sand as possible into the apartment. This for sure demotivated my beach yearning for a while. However we’ve discovered the beach showers and the handy hose in our yard since then. Now it only bugs me a tiny bit.

3. The unquenchable heat!

I should rephrase cause Hawaii really isn’t so horribly hot. The killer is the humidity. Having grown up in Denmark (which is surrounded by water every way you turn) I thought I knew what humidity felt like. But I didn’t. I quickly learned to get out my over-sized t-shirts, we decided to get bikes (cause, if anything, the walk to campus left you wet and sticky) and we got used to taking at least 2 showers a day. Thank goodness to all utilities included!